Tool Talk: Communicating Issues

Effective communication is a critical factor to your job and is especially critical when needing to work safely between everyone involved in the work task or project. Communication in the workplace includes having honest conversations and part of having honest conversations is discussing issues as they arise.

Examples of scenarios of when you should speak up

There are endless possible scenarios of speaking up and having an honest conversation to address an issue. Below are some examples of when you should stop and communicate an issue to get it resolved prior to continuing on.

  • When you see someone working unsafe.

  • When you do not have the proper training or knowledge to do the task at hand.

  • When you do not have the right tools or personnel to complete the task correctly.

  • When a safeguard is not implemented.

  • When a hazard is present that could injure you or others.

How to Go About Communicating Issues

  • Make time to have conversations that are needed to correct the situation.

  • Involve the right personnel in the discussions.

  • If you notice a coworker not working safely please stop them and have a respectful conversation about it. If you do not feel comfortable approaching them, then tell a supervisor.

  • Having follow up conversations are important to have, it ensures that the situation is resolved and measures were taken so it doesn’t occur again.

  • If necessary, ensure that others within the company are informed of the issue and/or the actions of the situation were discussed.

  • For example, an investigation report or lessons learned report may be necessary to inform others in the company. This way a similar incident does not occur again.

One of the most difficult things to do at work is to have an honest conversation because they can be uncomfortable. That being said, honest conversations about issues as they arise are critical because of work safety. Issues that result in individuals being at risk for injuries are everyone’s problem not just those workers who are put at risk.

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